What We Do When We Do Church – Keep Us From Evil

Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation,     but deliver us from evil.

Luke 11:2-4

“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

What we call today “The Lord’s Prayer” is found in these two places in the Scriptures. The next couple of devotions are based on a section of the book Listening to the Language of the Bible: Hearing it Through Jesus’ Ears, by Lois Tverberg with Bruce Okkema.

The previous devotions in this series are:

Part 1 – Hymnody
Part 2 – Invocation
Part 3 – Baptism
Part 4 – Confession of Sins
Part 5 – Absolution
Part 6 – Introit / Psalmody
Part 7 – Kyrie
Part 8 – Hymn of Praise
Part 9 – Scripture Readings
Part 10 – Sermon
Part 11 – Confession of Faith
Part 12 – Offering
Part 13 – Offertory
Part 14 – Prayer
Part 15 – “Our Father”
Part 16 – “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
Part 17 – “Thy Kingdom Come”
Part 18 – “Daily Bread”

“Keep Us From Evil”

Image result for Ephesians 6“Lead us not into temptation” and “deliver us from evil” are actually saying the same thing. Jesus uses a Hebrew poetic literary device to emphasize His thought here.

It may be helpful to look at how this thought made its way down to the first century and then out of Jesus’ day into the 5th Century.

Psalm 121:5-7 says, The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

About 500 years later Jesus says, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” (some of the manuscripts say “evil one”).

And about 500 years after Jesus, there is a prayer in the Jewish Talmud that says, in part, “Deliver me … from a bad person, a bad companion, a bad injury, an evil inclination, and from Satan, the destroyer.” The word “bad” and “evil” here are the same Hebrew word “ra” – the same word that Jesus used in the Lord’s Prayer.

Jesus is teaching us to pray for God’s protection from evil – evil from without and evil from within.

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